Monday, March 21, 2016

Special Tones for the Prophecies of the Easter Vigil

A reader from the Philippine Islands, Mr Jesson Allerite, has very kindly made available a book of special tones for some of the Prophecies of the Easter Vigil, according to the Missal of St Pius V. You can consult the book by following this link: It can be downloaded if you create an account on the digital platform on which it is published.
Each prophecy has its own special set of melismas, many of which are quite long and elaborate. The ones included here are the last six of the original twelve readings: unfortunately, in the 1955 revision of the Holy Week services, only two of the six given here are still used, the 8th (Isaiah 4, 1-6, the first verse of which was also removed in 1955), and the 11th (Deuteronomy 31, 22-30.) However, I am sure that a great many of our readers will find them interesting for historical reasons. It might also be possible to transpose the music to other readings, and not just those of the Easter Vigil, although that would take a person with musical skill that I personally do not have at all. I have heard a special tone for the first reading of the vigil, Genesis 1,1 - 2,2, based on a tone originally created for the readings in the Novus Ordo in German, which was quite beautiful; a small melisma was added to the words describing the end of each day of Creation, “Et factum est vespere et mane, dies unus (secundus, tertius etc.)”

Should anyone decide to use these, and make a recording, we will be very glad to post it here on NLM.

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